Yesterday I listened to "How ZEN TRAPS You" by Alan Watts and today it became clear to me what it means. The Ego just doesn't exist. There is no "I" that is responsible for what "I" do. What I am and what I do arises on its own without "me" being involved. To act in "suchness" means to act without the false notion of the Ego. And to hesitate is to act according to the false notion of the Ego.

@reto After listening to this Alan Watts talk, I couldn't help but think that the desire and intention to practice Zen is the height of egotistical pretentiousness. But come to think of it, the desire and intent to become a 'fully enlightened Buddha' by any means is the height of egotistical pretentiousness. And I mean that sincerely. I gradually let go of seeking ultimate enlightenment over the last couple of years. As Watts said, out of sheer frustration and the total ridiculousness of it.

@reto I mean, think about it. Saying 'I want to be a fully enlightened Buddha' is like saying 'I want to be God.' It's utterly absurd and is nothing but a conceit of the ego. And the idea that 'I'm going to spend my entire life striving to be a fully enlightened Buddha i.e. God, is also utterly absurd, and a waste of an otherwise perfectly good life.


This is why you should beware of people with Buddha statues in their home - too much symbolism of what they'd like to achieve, not just sitting listening to the washing machine churn...

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@ShaunBartone @reto
The most memorable part of studying taoism so far was the point where I realised it was "better" (ie ok) to be "normal", not "different because I study an esoteric literature". The way is not special.

@scribe @ShaunBartone the thing is, I think that nobody is "normal", we are just more or less limited by our thinking, but our thinking is not what we really are.

@scribe @ShaunBartone What I try to say is that it is this "thing" that does everything. It is not "me". The more it becomes clear to me that I'm not doing anything really, but that it just all happens, the less reason I have to puff myself up. In every moment "me" and my being is wholly dependent on "it". If "it" stops working for "me", I am no more.

Yes, I know what you mean there. The body has a life which ventures into society, money, politics, etc. But all these things are temporary and built on to of something else.

@scribe Yes I think it's similar there. I have a good example for what I mean: Yesterday I had to go to an appointment to discuss my CV, but I forgot the most important documents (without which it would be quite useless to go there). In the staircase "it" reminded me of the documents. It is just out of familiarity that we assume we are in charge because we learned that things work in a certain way. It is a wrong idea. Every thought is a miracle and we have no idea how it all works


@scribe In every moment we are fully dependent on the Tao and without the Tao nothing works. We are not in charge. The notion that we think that we are in charge of anything is an illusion. But we have been brought up to believe in this notion and almost everyone does it. @ShaunBartone

@reto @ShaunBartone Boom. I think this is what Lao Tzu means by 'My words are easy to understand, yet no-one can follow them.' We inherently believe we have control, and it is not giving up control that is hard, but giving up the idea of it.

@scribe Yeah, the idea that we are in control is so ingrained in our mind. What I do is to remind myself that I'm not in control from time to time. It's a liberating thought and and I can see that it goes on just the same without "me" being involved. ๐Ÿ˜œ @ShaunBartone

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